The Basket

They sit in a circle, the symbol of unity, weaving the same basket, it works best that way. Young, and old, one generation blending with the next, hands at work, bending, threading, pulling the reeds prepared by experience, softened with love because this project, is no less than the project, their very lives.

When one grows weary, hands blistered by undoing mistakes, another is there with the salve of unconditional love, forgiveness if need be. The work continues unbroken, the pattern a little different but the result, having a beauty unexpected. From time to time one becomes better skilled, steady, able to help the rest get through narrow passages where it seems it’s just not going to work, there is no way, but this one knows just how to slide past the trouble, so all can keep going.

It is beautiful to behold, not just the basket they make but how they lean into each other. How even though along the way, one may be afflicted, hands weakened, set in her lap, only able to gaze on the work still going on, somehow, by some mysterious, amazing way, invisible hands have taken up where physical hands no longer can. She is held securely, no less a part, her life adding color, design, and fullness to the circle. She is sister, mother, wife, friend and her place in the basket is repeated over and over. It can never be anything but full of all she is and it will never be empty.


Dedicated to my daughter-in-law’s mother who is fighting a long battle with cancer and to all those in the circle who live, keep living and join together with invisible hands.

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